Sunday, March 19, 2017
Today and for the next two Sundays we will meet three fascinating Gospel characters: the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and Lazarus. They will show us—those of us already baptized and those preparing for Baptism at the Easter Vigil (the elect)—how Jesus is constantly transforming us. All the Scriptures on these days present images of Baptism and conversion.
How could the people in the First Reading be so ungrateful as to grumble about their thirst? God had already delivered them from slavery and Moses had led them to safety. But the people cave in to their ears and rebel. God responds like a patient, compassionate parent by giving them water from the rock—yet another expression of God’s love for his people. Refreshed, they move forward into the new life God had promised.
As if in response to that very situation, the psalmist exhorts the people to “sing joyfully” to the Lord who is “the Rock” of their salvation. The invitation is repeated three times using the present tense in contrast to the reminder that there was a time “in the desert” when their hearts were hardened. But God’s voice is like a shepherd; they bow down and worship.
Paul’s theology of Baptism runs throughout his Letter to the Romans. Today we hear him say: “The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”—like the waters in which we were baptized. Our salvation, he reminds us, comes from God’s grace, not our own efforts. We must live according to that grace.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus converses with the Samaritan woman. Although the story begins with Jesus’ thirst, it is the woman who is refreshed. She enters the story as a catechumen and becomes an evangelist, bearer of Good News! At Home with the Word.
In His Love and mine,